A challenging August: Six on Saturday

It’s going to be a tough month, with little rain and more hot days of 30 degrees C forecast for next week in Belgium. We had a very welcome couple of hours of rain on Thursday evening, but that’s not enough. No hosepipe ban here yet, but they have had to pump water into the canals in order to keep barges and boats moving, and low levels of water in one of Belgium’s most important rivers, the Meuse, threatens the drinking supply of Flanders. In West Flanders, fish are dying in large numbers in some waterways: “in some places the only water left is the effluent from a sewage treatment plant or from an industrial site”, according to the Flemish environment agency.

Levels of water stress across Belgium. Credit: Aquaduct/WRI

Frightening times, we are so dependent on things we have taken for granted. Our gardens too are so important to us, and they too need water.

For the Propagator’s Six on Saturday this week, I’m just going to share a few images:

Antirrhinum majus, or Snapdragons, sown from seed, growing in the herb bed
Trumpet vine: it’s back but under control – more or less.
Aconitum napellus, or Monkshood, a beautiful plant and an auberge for the night for this bee
Platycodon grandiflorus, or Balloon plant, backed by Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’
Drought-tolerant, easy-going, long-flowering Alyssum
The roses are coming back: here is Belgian-bred Rosa ‘Absolument Claude’ with Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’

Hope your gardens are doing OK in these challenging times! That’s all from me this week.

33 thoughts on “A challenging August: Six on Saturday

  1. Crikey, things are really bad over there. My sister, a teacher, has always sworn that the weather turns all wet and miserable when the summer holidays begin. I was hoping she was right after the dry July. A lovely selection and it’s nice to have an update on the Trumpet vine!

  2. The weather really is quite terrible. I had a bed of lettuce go into complete collapse yesterday. I haven’t been out to check it yet this morning – I watered it yesterday evening.

    1. It’s definitely not lettuce weather! I have some lettuce to plant out but it never seems like a good time! I might have to pot them up and keep in the shade. Hope yours pull through.

  3. It’ s a sad situation and water is becoming more and more a big problem, not only in Belgium… Most of the ponds in parks and nature reserves around Antwerp are completely dried out. The impact on the eco systems is immens. Even with a few weeks of rain, this situation cannot be rectified. I’m realy concerned for the years to come…. I hope all the best for your garden Sel.
    Enjoy the weekend an many greets,

  4. A lovely six Sel. I like the snapdragons, I might have to give them a try next year or buy some from the nursery. Your water situation over there does look dire! Hope your allotment is faring OK.

    1. Thanks, the allotment is doing ok but we are topping up the water by taking a wheelbarrow loaded with Jerry cans filled with water! Luckily it’s only 10 mins walk away!

  5. Sounds like all the flooding in our state of Kentucky would be welcome rain to share over there. Mother Nature does as she pleases infortunately. Nonetheless your plants look terrific!

  6. Oh dear, your water situation sounds worse than here. I’m trying to use as much “grey” water as possible from the washing up bowl. It’s amazing how much water we accumulate even though we have a dishwasher and try to be careful. I like the trumpet vine.

  7. Oh I hope you get some rain soon. I love the name of the Balloon plant. I always say that there is a dip in the weather in early August, but not this year.

  8. Yes it’s pretty bad here isn’t it and with 5 days to come with temperatures above 30…! I love your Platycodon, I’ve got the white version, the buds and the blooms are gorgeous. Do you know how to propogate?

      1. Yes, I’m not looking forward to the coming week, I’m afraid. Anything above 25 and my brain seems to shut down.

      1. I am half way up the west coast of France. We have been very badly hit. The south seems to get rain as the winds and the storms hit the Pyrenees from time to time. We are flat here and anything coming in from the Atlantic drifts gently over and drops rain in the east.

  9. Sorry to hear about the lack of rain and the impact on the water courses. I’m not sure it’s much better here either. I enjoyed your seeing your pictures from this week and reading your post on Sissinghurst (what a co-incidence that you were there too).

  10. Nice six! Your monkshood is way ahead of mine. This weather is a testing time for all of us. Fingers crossed for an occasional shower in August. LOL, is Trumpet vine ever under control?

  11. lovely flowers, such difficult times. No hosepipe ban here but I have adopted a voluntary one and just water with a can those that are really dried. Seems like the drought won’t even touch your trumpet vine though!

  12. I like your snapdragon I am not very good with seeds mice birds and others tamper with them so glad you have managed watering your garden with dish washing-up water?! I do that without success

  13. Yikes! I’ve been hearing of the drought and heatwaves in Europe, but your first para really brought it into more detail on how it’s affecting your area. I’m sad for the fish and the situation in Flanders. What is the the average daytime temp normally there in summer? I’ve been converting to F so I can get a sense of it. Is it about a 20degree Fahrenheit increase in temp that is happening? That’s intense, and compounded by the drought. Ugh! We’re in a many year drought here in California too, as you probably know. We bought some large rainwater collection tanks but they require a sophisticated hookup, requiring a plumber, but all the plumbers are super busy helping those who have run out of water. Luckily, we are in a spot that normally has a high water table, so we still have water. Some trees are dying, but I hope most will pull through. On our property, we’ve given up on some of the ornamentals and are focusing on keeping alive trees, habitat plants and food gardens. I hope you get more rain soon and a break in the heat! Beautiful snapdragon by the way! Your garden is always so beautiful. -lisa

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